The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Haleja to publish the final list by July 31 by exercising “his discretion keeping the law in mind”. The statement came after the coordinator told the apex court that hearing on objections has started though objectors are not showing up.
“Exercise your discretion. Keep the law in mind”. Whatever you want to do, publish final NRC by July 31. Maybe a day earlier, but not a day later,” the court said.
More than 40 lakh people were excluded from the final draft of the NRC published on July 30 last year. They were allowed to appeal for their inclusion in the final NRC through the ‘Claims Round’. One could also raise an ‘objection’ to the inclusion of another person in the NRC draft.
Of the 40 lakh-odd people excluded from the final NRC draft, around 36 lakh have filed ‘claims’, while ‘objections’ have been received against a little over 2 lakh people among the 2.89 crore included in the final draft. Official figures were not available, but sources earlier indicated Barpeta district accounted for 75,000 objections while Nagaon and Morigaon saw 35,000-odd each.
The ‘objection’ process had raised eyebrows when the official ‘objections’ increased from 700-odd to more than 2 lakh on the deadline of filing the same, December 31, 2018.
Monday was the first day of the objection-related hearings.